What is a Treadmill Desk?

Treadmill desks have grown in popularity in recent years as more of us than ever are working from home and we are more health conscious than ever before. With that level of consciousness comes an awareness that sitting for 8 hours or more per day is likely adding to issues we have in the US with obesity and health conditions.

A treadmill desk is an ideal solution to combat this.

What is a Treadmill Desk?

A treadmill desk, also sometimes referred to as a walking desk, is an adjustable-height desk with an under-desk treadmill. There are many types of treadmill desks, from “all in one” solutions where you can control your treadmill from your desktop, to DIY alternatives where you place an under-desk treadmill below a standing desk to have the same setup for a fraction of the price.

The treadmill desk concept is that by using a treadmill desk you can “walk while you work” so you can reach your daily step count, improve your health and shed some pounds without neglecting your work productivity.

What work can be done while walking on a treadmill?

Literally anything.

As a website designer, when I first started using my DIY treadmill desk I found I could do everything apart from complex coding tasks. Now that I’ve been using my treadmill desk for around a month I can confidently say I can do all parts of my job while walking on my under-desk treadmill.

You may find that very precise graphic design work can be a challenge when using a treadmill desk, particularly if you use a mouse for most of this work, but for the majority of us who work from a desk, most work can be done while walking on a treadmill.

It’s important to note I am saying walking on a treadmill here. That means you’re going at a relaxed pace, not verging on a light jog! Most treadmill desks will have a maximum speed anyway meaning it’s not possible to run while you work but you’d be surprised how many people assume I am running at my desk when I say I am using a desk treadmill!

How do I use a Treadmill Desk?

I think this is down to the individual.

Personally, I hop on my treadmill desk first thing when I start working and I stop when I hit my steps goal for the day. This means if there is anything I’m struggling to do when walking at my desk, I’ve got plenty of time to get it done when I’m sitting. Typically, I spent all morning walking and all afternoon sitting at a desk.

To prepare for using a treadmill desk, you will need to wear sneakers and some comfortable athletic wear, like sports leggings.

Depending on whether you buy an all in one treadmill desk or DIY your own, you should begin on your treadmill desk with it switched off. From there you can position your keyboard, mouse and anything else on your desk where you need it before you start. I like to ensure everything is within reaching distance so I don’t have to get off and on a lot to get things.

Once you’re ready, start your treadmill speed on low and increase it until you find a comfortable walking pace where you can still work. It’s important you focus on slow and steady walking rather than aiming for speed with this or you will find you can concentrate on your work properly!

What is the cost of a treadmill desk?

The cost of a treadmill desk will vary depending on how you choose to set yours up.

WALKOLUTION Treadmill DeskA great example of a high-end treadmill desk is the Walkolution range. These babies will set you back $5k+ but they are beautiful, right?! When it comes to the best treadmill desks, Walkolution would be my first choice every time.

Alternatively, you can put together your own DIY treadmill desk for under $500. Check out my DIY treadmill desk guide to learn exactly how I did this and all the tools I used.

If you’ve got the standing desk side of things sorted and you just want to know more about under-desk treadmills, my guide to the best under-desk treadmill will help you out. I’ve included as many treadmill desk reviews as I can on this blog but as I only have my own experience, I’ve found using Amazon to check out other treadmill desk reviews to be invaluable in my quest for the perfect desk treadmill!

What is the weight loss potential when using a treadmill desk?

It should come as no surprise to you that you will burn more calories using a treadmill desk. I wrote a post recently about calories burned using a standing desk and the difference between using a standing desk and using a treadmill desk is significant. If you’re considering using a standing desk, I definitely recommend taking it one step further and investing in a treadmill desk!

There aren’t too many published trials on treadmill desks, especially those documenting if participants lost weight, however a study from the National Library of Medicine found that subjects who lost weight using treadmill desks lost around 7-12lbs during the course of the study.

Anecdotally, I have been using my own treadmill desk for almost 4 weeks and so far I have lost 5lbs. I am combining my treadmill desk with healthy eating (no calorie counting) and weight training twice per week. Before I started using my treadmill desk, my weight had plateaued for months and the treadmill desk is definitely what dropped that extra 5lbs for me! You can read more about my desk job weight loss journey here.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a way to increase your daily activity, promote weight loss and adapt to a healthier lifestyle with a desk job, a treadmill desk is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make to your workstation. Particularly if you are expected to be at your desk for long periods at a time! For me, it’s a no-brainer and I hope it is for you too.